From John Moses Browning’s first design to the original
Model 1911 the future was already written
By Dennis Adler
Authenticity is something that so many airgun enthusiasts demand, that I am often amazed by how few manufacturers acknowledge this segment of the airgun marketplace. Granted most CO2 air pistols are in the $100 to $200 price range, with some very nice examples hovering at around $80 (retail or discounted), so it is understandable from a marketing perspective that some corners are going to be cut. Just when you begin to accept that reality, someone comes along and proves that “it just ain’t so” with a model like the nickel plated Umarex Colt Peacemakers. Why nickel? Because an authentically blued model just isn’t a practical option, you can’t really blue an alloy pistol to look the same as bluing on steel. You can come close but not perfect. This gives us antiqued finishes (weathered) as an option and that has worked well on many pistols, Peacemakers, the Broomhandle Mauser, and others, some as special limited editions, but the obvious option manufacturers could pursue with many blowback action CO2 models that just don’t look right with a modern matte finish, like the Swiss Arms 1911A1, is to forego modern finishes on CO2 versions of guns that were originally built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and simply put them out with nickel finishes. Even Colt’s offered nickel finishes on semi-autos as far back as the early 1900s (1908 for hammerless .25 ACP, .32 and .380 ACP models and 1935 for the Model 1911A1). So this begs the question, why can’t Swiss Arms and Tanfoglio 1911A1 models (pretty much the same guns with different brand name licensing) turn out a nickel plated version that would look like a proper period pistol, even if they still had their brand names and Warning information on the slide? It is understandable that only Umarex can use the Colt name, but let us not forget that during WWI and WWII the 1911/1911A1 was also manufactured by other companies like Remington-UMC, Ithaca, Remington Rand, US&S Co., Springfield Armory and even the Singer Sewing Machine Co. It is the design and finish that matter not the name on the slide. Swiss Arms and Tanfoglio could and should offer the 1911A1 style CO2 model with a nickel finish.